Taking the lead

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Scottish Natural Heritage is to be congratulated for its Taking the Lead initiative to promote responsible dog walking on rural land.

It’s encouraging to see our land owners, farmers and crofters being supported by such an influential body over a problem that affects them daily through dogs worrying livestock and other wildlife or owners leaving dog dirt behind.

Hundreds of thousands of adults visit the great outdoors every year, almost half of them with a dog, and the initiative should do much to improve the problems caused by the irresponsible few.

In addition, it will help to ensure that land managers are clear about access rights and encourage them to manage dog-walking on their property positively and effectively.

Farmers and landowners are having a rough enough time at the moment so it’s heartening to see this sector of our economy being supported on this tricky issue.

Colin Clark

Head of Agriculture and Estates

Pagan Osborne

George Street

Edinburgh